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What has the most effect at an immigration hearing: The level of the charge or the level of the conviction?

Saint Paul, MN |

Register of Action record describes the Disorderly Conduct Charge as a misdemeanor but the level of the conviction & sentence was a petty misdemeanor.

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Attorney answers 4


The judge will look at the totality of circumstances in weighing the charge and conviction.


Both. The judge will review the entire criminal case record in making the determination.

Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. 415.391.6612 Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street, Suite 707 San Francisco, CA 94104


Conviction is more important. If you have an attorney or public defender, you may want to ask about immigration consequences.


It really dependso on the context. For most immigration matters, the level of the conviction is more important than the actual charge. However, there are instances in which the government will try to reach back to the initial charge to establish the actual conviction is different. For example, a disorderly conduct involving a relative who lives with the person has been argued in some areas to qualify as a domestic offense. The other variable is not the offense, but the sentence. Petty misdemeanors almost have no immigration effect by themselves, but can combine with other criminal history to create an immmigration law concern. All contact with the criminal justice system requires careful consideration of the charge, the proposed outcome, and the person's history.

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